Recently, The Civil War Trust, which is America’s largest nonprofit battlefield preservation group, secured a contract with a property owner to obtain 61 acres of Fleetwood Hill. The hill is a significant part of the Brandy Station Battlefield which, on June 9, 1863, became the site of the largest cavalry battle to ever take place on North American soil.
The CWT plans to eventually preserve the entire battlefield site. So far, its efforts have secured 1,800 acres of Brandy Station – more land than at any other battlefield in the country. Right now, houses dot the landscape of what was once a pre-Gettysburg contest between Confederate Major General J. E. B. Stuart’s troopers and Union Major General Alfred Pleasonton’s men. Approximately 20,000 troopers fought it out, and about 1,000 died, were wounded or went missing. Right now, the main goal is to raise the $3.6 million required to secure the land.
During the Civil War, Culpeper County, Virginia changed hands 78 times. The Battle of Brandy Station was a Confederate victory, but also a wake up call for Stuart and his men, who had considered themselves invincible up until that point. After being surprised and nearly overtaken, the Confederates marched on into Pennsylvania, arriving at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. They were two days late, as the battle commenced on July 1. This year marks the 150th anniversary of both the Battle of Brandy Station and the Battle of Gettysburg. For more information, please visit: